NEW YORK - Latino del Año 2014, presented by U.S. Army, has reached the final stage. For the second year in a row, the prize will be determined through a vote between a final four of candidates.
- VOTE HERE for the Latino del Año winner
After three intense days of voting in which fans cast their votes to determine the winners of the quarterfinal matchups, the only certainty going into the next and final round is that we will have a new king, as last year's winner, Real Salt Lake striker Alvaro Saborio, has been eliminated.
The final four, which will decide the new champion, is composed of the following candidates:
- Pedro Morales (Vancouver Whitecaps) – Chile
- Marco Pappa (Seattle Sounders) – Guatemala
- Jaime Penedo (LA Galaxy) – Panamá
- Erick Torres (Chivas USA) – México
The two quarterfinals with the closest voting margins saw the last two Costa Rican candidates in the running fall. Chivas USA striker Erick “Cubo” Torres defeated the Columbus Crew's Waylon Francis with 55 percent of the votes, while the LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo was able to beat Saborio with 56 percent of the vote.
The last matchup of the quarterfinals had two Seattle Sounders teammates fighting for a spot in the final four, which ended in a knockout loss for Gonzalo Pineda. Guatemala native Marco Pappa won with an overwhelming 92 percent of the votes. Pappa has emerged as the candidate to beat in the final stage, since he has set voting records during every round to date.
Pappa and Penedo will also be facing each other in the Western Conference Final clash between the Seattle Sounders and the LA Galaxy. Also, perhaps coincidentally, all of the finalists in 2014 come from Western Conference clubs, with two of them having played the 2014 season in Los Ángeles teams, while the other two did so in Cascadia squads.
Fans will have the chance to cast their vote starting today and last until 11:59 pm PT on November 17 to decide who will take the Latino del Año crown.
2014 Latino del Año Schedule
November 13 – Quarterfinal winners announced, online voting opens for final
November 17 – 2014 Latino del Año winner announced